In the dim twilight notes of music wafted through. I strained to read the words and got lost in them.
It was probably the year 1976. As music trickled down slowly into India, the new Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon had been released and my cousin was the proud owner of it. I was probably the only one around at that time who appreciated Pink Floyd as much as he did though I was still a teenager and he was much older than I.
As the music strains filled the room, he talked about the skilled instrumentation while I focused on the dreamy (almost stoned, now I realize) lyrics. Between us we appreciated the sheer poetry of the music that Pink Floyd gave us.
So, we went through the album, song after song, discussing, debating and deliberating on great music and lyrics and guitar playing!
To date my bond with my brother was that music and his ability to appreciate the depths of it.
And then with shock I heard the news. That he is no more.
Losing a close relative is bad enough, but losing a cousin – a sibling, in a way – hurts in a different way altogether.
Somehow growing up there was a bond between cousins that you never formed with adults. You knew you were part of the same lineage – with all its quirks and idiosyncrasies. The family’s strange behavior was always acceptable and understandable and you knew what each aunt and uncle stood for – what each of their specialty was – whether in cooking or doing and you loved them for that. Family occasions were enjoyed more because as cousins of the same age you got to be more friends than relatives (which was so much cooler!) and you could spend hours on end with each other without any parental peevishness.
And now one of them is gone. One of us is gone.
One of our eldest cousins, has gone away – a bit too early, a bit too soon.
Giving us that jolt that life is short and there is now a gaping hole in the sibling bonds that we once shared.
That the childhood friend we looked fondly back at is no more
And neither is three time to look back.
That we are also mortal, but lesser mortals in a way because he was the first to go – leaving us bereft.
Leaving us with unanswered questions, probably unasked questions.
Bharvi, you were a gentle soul and I fondly remember all the time we spent together in our youth.
Strangely everything I say can best be expressed with the music you loved. Now you’ve gone to that great gig in the sky and it’s us and them, all I can say once again is, wish you were here.
Narayanibhabhi, Saumya, Aditi, Jaydev my condolences.
To the rest of my cousins and siblings, a mourning for our collective loss.
To the next generation, spend all the time possible together as family because time is short and relationships are all that matter.
Rest in Peace Bharvi.